As the week of April 4, 2011, rolls into full force, it’s official: Fargo and Moorhead are on HIGH ALERT. The spring melt roars into the tributaries, rivers, coulees and the Red River. Fargo mobilizes its sandbag deployment plan as upperclass students from all area schools pour out to place sandbags.
As the majority of sandbag placement is completed early (Thursday), the Weather Service informs the community of an impending and potentially dangerous storm front that is bearing down on the upper Midwest.
Mayor Walaker continues to remind the community, as 2011 witnesses the third highest crest on record, that this is not a time for complacency. Commissioner Tim Mahoney charges the city with the anthem, “Constant vigilance… beat the crest, then get some rest.”
As the Red River inches its way toward its crest, the cities of Fargo and Moorhead wait to see if their efforts are enough. As we remain vigilant, here is one more look back at the wonderful community spirit of the Red River Valley that will always RISE UP against any and all odds.
As the cities of Fargo and Moorhead enters into the week of April 4, 2011, the spring melt begins and the Red River begins to dramatically rise. 600,000 sandbags are transported from their storage units to area neighborhoods and area students pour out to place the sandbags in strategic locations… all the while, the Red River continues to rise… This video is simply a reiteration of the annual community theme: In a present world often tainted by cynicism, complacency and selfishness, it simply takes one gesture, one act, one selfless intention of compassion to change the tide.
And in one of the smallest community areas tucked away in the quiet corner of the U.S. Midwest, that gesture, that act and that selfless intention of compassion from the community’s youth shines bright again amidst the rising flood waters of the Red River. God bless and protect all residents of the Fargo-Moorhead communities and outlying areas and towns.
As the week of March 28, 2011, concludes, Fargo enters into the final competition of The Weather Channel’s “America’s Toughest Weather City Tournament.” This final competition is against Bradford, PA, the unofficial snow capital of the eastern United States… who will be crowned the victor?
At week’s conclusion, an unexpected and unfortunate snow/rain storm is presently roaring across the state and expected to leave between .05 and 1 inch of rain in its path… which will only increase the speed of the spring melt in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Sandbag distribution is halted until this storm passes through; Tuesday is the expected day for sandbags to hit the Fargo neighborhoods.
As the week of March 21, 2011, comes to an end, the Red River hits action stage as its water rises above 17 feet. Once the river reaches action stage, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks starts issuing daily five-day forecasts.
During this week, the Tuesday night thunder-sleet-snow storm totals 8.1 inches officially in Fargo-Moorhead. This brings the area’s total for the entire winter to 82.1 inches, which ranks this winter as the fourth-snowiest winter since 1885.
The National Weather Service releases its recent projection and the newest slate of flood probabilities for the Red River basin calculates a 50 percent chance of the Red in Fargo-Moorhead exceeding 40.5 feet, a 30 percent chance of it topping 41.8 feet, and a 10 percent chance of it surpassing 44.4 feet. The Red River’s high water mark in Fargo-Moorhead is the 40.84-foot crest of 2009, followed by the 39.72-foot crest of 1997.
During this week as well, Fargo dances its way into the Final Four of The Weather Channel’s “America’s Toughest Weather City Tournament”, stomping Minneapolis-St. Paul in the tourney’s Elite 8 round. The Twin Cities didn’t stand a chance, losing to Fargo by a margin of 91.4 percent to 8.6 percent in online voting. Fargo received 14,442 votes to take the Midwest Region title. Fargo will square off next week against West Region champion Juneau, Alaska, in what The Weather Channel is describing as a “clash of cold.”
Rather than RACE from the water, we have collectively chosen to FACE toward the water… and pit our Will Over Water for the third straight year. Displayed in this video are just a few of the faces of the thousands of faceless and nameless volunteers who have readied the City of Fargo against the 2011 rising waters of the mighty Red River.
Citizens of Fargo and all area volunteers, whether you were shown in this video or not, please know that your sacrifice and selflessness will not go unappreciated. For all of us in the Fargo-Moorhead area, THANK YOU.
Following 22 days of operation at Sandbag Central, 3 million total sandbags and 47,295 total volunteer hours, Fargo tentatively waits on Mother Nature. As the week of March 14 comes to a close, Fargo (and Moorhead) hosts its first televised Flood Meeting of 2011. It is announced that the city will prepare to dispurse its sandbags to neighborhoods as early as the end next week (March 21) and within a four-day time frame.
As earthen levees continue to be steadily and strategically constructed around the Fargo neighborhoods, its residents wait… patiently, but anxiously…
As the week of March 7 concludes, Sandbag Central reaches its goal of a collective total of 3 million sandbags and the operations stand down for the present time. At the same time, clay levees are emerging all over the cities of Fargo and Moorhead as the cities continue to prepare for a late March/early April area melt and flood. The week ends with community members facing a dangerous late winter blizzard roaring across the Dakota plain.
Prayers and support go out to the people of Japan who are struggling through and beyond a catastrophic 8.9 earthquake and destructive tsunami that devastated their country on March 11, 2011.
As the week of February 28 progresses, Sandbag Central surpasses the 2-million sandbag production, on its way to its 3-million sandbag total. At the same time, a more serious forecast is shared by the National Weather Service: an increase to a 1-in-3 chance of the Red River surpassing the 2009 flood level. Please consider coming out this week to assist at Sandbag Central – the final push is on!